ERLC trustee chair’s church promotes racial identity politics

Watching the Trustees

What happens when trustees and the entity heads they supervise come from the swamp of Washington, D.C.? You get racialized politics from Southern Baptist pastors and your Southern Baptist Ethics and Religions Liberty Commission (ERLC) promoting immigration policies that benefit the wealthy. It was revealed earlier this week that the pro-open door immigration Russell Moore is supervised by ERLC trustee chairman Ken Barbic who earns his living promoting cheap immigrant labor for western farmers. Now, we find out the trustee’s church advocates racial identity politics.

Barbic is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in DC. Also an elder at the church is Jonathan Leeman. Leeman blogs at the increasingly leftist Gospel Coalition (home to the now infamous Hillary Clinton booster Thabiti Anyabwile) and is editorial director of 9Marks. Leeman posted a blog at TGC regarding Christians and social justice equality. This post at TGC was excerpted from a post at 9Marks that was a manuscript from Leeman’s 13-week Sunday School class taught at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. The class explored Christians and government. Lesson 10 explored Justice and Identity Politics.

Leeman taught in Sunday School, “’Privilege’ is what one group of people enjoys after generations of oppressing and discriminating against another group of people. Its effects are society-wide.”

These can result in things like, “Police and airport security profiling present another example of the injustices that can occur when applying the calculations of justice at a group level indiscriminately to the individual. Black drivers or Arab-looking individuals at the airport are treated differently according to their group membership, which leaves them feeling individually violated.”

These are just some examples of the structural issues in America, according to Sunday School lesson.

Leeman wrote, “The claim of identity politics is not merely that individual actors act in a fashion that’s racist or sexist. It’s that the larger structures of society themselves are racist or sexist or unjust. So it’s not enough that I, an individual white male, examine how I treat minorities and women, make sure that I’m treating everyone fairly, and apologize for those places where I haven’t treated people fairly. Rather, I must recognize certain ‘structural’ injustices as well. That is, that we live in a system of laws, institutions, society-wide patterns and practices and values that give me an advantage or power over women and non-whites. That’s what people mean by ‘structural injustices.’ The laws, traditions, and habits of our culture favor my skin color.”

A key point raised in the Sunday School lesson focused on the role of justice. Leeman argued it goes beyond fair legal process and requires something more. He wrote, “Justice, after all, involves a reckoning. It’s not just a putting down of the oppressor; it’s a lifting up of the oppressed and downtrodden…The challenge of affirming merely a fair process is that it’s atomistic. It views people as isolated units. And it doesn’t account for generational and relational connectivity. It doesn’t account for the entrenched and cyclical nature of poverty passing from one generation to another.”

Leeman stopped short of advocating specific policies and noted the dangers of going too far left in pursuit of justice. He wrote, “It’s hard to see how this isn’t a massive violation of other principles of justice, such as the violation of private property or a severe partiality against the rich. Or suppose we bus students from Edison High School over to Northeastern High School, and require some of those students to bus back to Edison. How is that a fair process!”

You can read the entire post at 9Marks to judge the lesson’s content for yourself. Is this the type of Sunday School material you would like to see in your church? What does it say about the church where our ERLC trustee chairman is an elder? This seems to be a critical question–Who is watching Dr. Russell Moore? We really don’t know much of anything about the trustees who seem to embrace racialized politics, and open-door immigration for the benefit of the rich.

Also, this highlights an important problem in evangelicalism today. Notice the intersection of so many evangelical institutions? The ERLC and The Gospel Coalition? Dr. Moore is on The Gospel Coalition’s Council. Just a few weeks ago, prominent evangelical scholar Professor Robert A. J. Gagnon alleged Dr. Moore used his connections in evangelical circles to stifle dissent.

“Many people outside the SBC are also afraid to speak up out of fear for being blacklisted by prominent Evangelicals and conservative Catholics with whom Dr. Moore has worked hard to cultivate influence. He is a major player in the evangelical Gospel Coalition and a darling of Catholic renewal publication First Things, two organizations that I respect greatly,” Professor Gagnon said.

6 Comments

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  1. 1
    Robert

    Thanks Capstone. The SBC is moving far to the left. This is not the SBC that I grew up with. When I was a boy and a young man, church was all about Christ. But russell moore and his ilk are using the SBC as a tool to promote the far left agenda. The racial identity politics are being used to incite violence by non-Whites against Whites. It’s a George Soros tactic of inciting civil war and societal breakdown so that the elites can declare martial law. These people want to destroy America and put out the light of liberty.

    These people also hate Whites. I was looking at the blog of the so-called Gospel Coalition and noticed the tendency to capitalize the word Black, but leave White in all lower case letters. They know full well that their constant complaints against the alleged evils of Whites has already lead, and will continue to lead, to the murder of innocent Whites. I don’t think that they care. They probably approve.

  2. 2
    Scott Shaver

    Funny how young and a few older SBC pastors wear “innerancy” on their sleeves while the denomination swings further left than prior to the conservative resurgence they’re so proud of. True frogs in a slowly boiling kettle.

  3. 3
    Scott Shaver

    SBC used to corner the market on good biblically based Sunday School materials. Now it’s some of the the most suspect stuff in that particular marketplace. The “resurgence” made matters worse than prior to 1980 is the lesson from history.

  4. 4
    MA

    What we are seeing in the SBC is called SJW convergence. Once social justice warriors get a foot hold in the leadership of an institution that institution’s agenda converges with the agenda of the SJWs. This has happened with every mainline Protestant denomination, now its the SBC’s turn. Convergence is why you saw the ERLC and Moore back Muslims over fellow Christians and other citizens who were trying to stop the building of a mosque in their community. The ELRC’s and Moore’s SJW agenda was more important the Bible’s commands against promoting false gods and religions. Moore claimed it was an issue of freedom of religion but its much more complicated than that because mosques have been a breeding grounds for terrorism. The racialization of the politics of the SBC is another convergence issue which will bring division in the name of unity. You can see this in this last dust up with the ERLC and Moore. As soon as “someone” leaked that leadership was meeting with Moore about his future at the SBC, immediately the story became how much the SBC could be hurt with minorities and minority outreach. You had minority pastors writing how firing Moore would lead to their withdraw from the SBC The fact that the NY Times and Washington Post have promoted the ERLC and Moore and came to the ELRC’s and Moore’s defense in this last division caused by Moore is all you really need to know.

    • 6
      Charley Scott

      Probably because it his blog and he likes that kind of thing. I think it makes for a good combo meself.

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